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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

March 2, 2000
Steve Adamske 202 / 418-8221

Chairman cites award as "success of E-Rate program"

Washington, D.C. - Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard accepted the 2000 Eagle Award today from the United States Distance Learning Association (USLDA) for his work in improving education and distance learning.

"It is a tribute to Chairman Kennard's vision that more than one million public, private and parochial school classrooms have been linked to the Internet with E-Rate funding," noted USDLA Executive Director John G. Flores. "And the program is helping to reduce the "digital divide," with 70% of the second year funding going to schools from the lowest income areas."

"I am very happy to accept this award. But I am even happier that because of the E- Rate we have connected hundreds and thousands of classrooms and libraries to the Internet. We have begun to better educate our children for the 21st century," Kennard said.

The E-Rate, also known as the education rate, provides 20 to 90 percent discount on telecommunications services, Internet access and internal connections to public and private schools and libraries. Overall, the program has committed $3.65 billion to schools and libraries.

Chairman Kennard continued, "Our challenge now is to ensure that no one gets left behind in the Broadband Internet Age. This year we have requested that 70% of the E-Rate funding be targeted to schools in traditionally low-income areas. We cannot afford not to bridge the digital divide."